MESSAGE FROM THE HONOURABLE KAMLA PERSAD-BISSESSAR, SC, MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
ON THE OCCASION OF LABOUR DAY 2016
Labour has made tremendous strides in advancing both the living and working conditions of their membership in particular and the working people of Trinidad and Tobagoin general during the past 79 years.
The working men and women of Trinidad and Tobago observe Labour Day today at a time when we are all tested and challenged to our every limit.
Given the economic downturn and worsening recession, working people on the 79th anniversary of the founding of the modern trade union movement is challenged with growing unemployment and underemployment, rising disparities in income and wealth disparities, growing poverty levels, marginalisation of the youth, social exclusion and isolation, deteriorating social services and, an exponential growth in violence and criminality amongst other negative developments in our country.
There is urgent need for government to engage swiftly in comprehensively revising and amending a number of critical pieces of labour legislation and even introducing new ones. Labour measures should be aimed at protecting and safeguarding the gain of the working man and woman in our society.
The Opposition stands firmly and resolutely in support of the promotion of progressive labour legislation such as the revision of the Industrial Relations Act, the revision of the Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act, and, the revision of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to provide workers with preferred treatment in the instance of bankruptcy and insolvency on the part of their employer companies. This has to go hand in hand with revision of the Companies Act.
There is also an urgent need to establish an unemployment and insurance fund to address the challenges faced by displaced and or dislocated workers.
Consideration should also be given to the introduction of a basic condition of work or employment law to codify minimum wages and terms and conditions of all workers.
We extend Labour Day Greetings to all.